Pastor John MacArthur Could Face Fines, Be Arrested for Holding In-Person Church Services amid COVID-19
John MacArthur’s California church is facing possible fines from the county if the church keeps hosting in-person services.
According to The Christian Post, MacArthur’s Grace Community Church is reopening despite lockdown orders from Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“We will obey God rather than men," MacArthur said in a video statement Friday. "We're going to be faithful to the Lord and we're going to leave the results to Him. Whatever happens is going to be what He allows to happen. But He will be on our side because we will be obedient and faithful to His word."
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials have reportedly told MacArthur he could face “repercussions such as fines and even possible arrest.”
The department’s Environmental Health division "is investigating and will be reaching out to the church leaders to let them know they need to comply with the Health Officer Order,” according to Religion News Service.
MacArthur said he isn’t sure “what the Lord has for us,” but the church will continue meeting for in-person services on Sundays.
“We will meet as the church of Jesus Christ because we're commanded to do that. We will sing, we will pray, we will fellowship, we will proclaim the Word of God far and wide and even around the world through this livestream opportunity that we have," he said.
MacArthur said other church leaders who aren’t hosting in-person services “aren’t giving any strength and courage to the church, they’re not standing up and rising up and calling on Christians to be the church in the world as I said on Sunday."
Grace Community Church is providing hand sanitizer and masks at its services. The church has also put aside about one thousand seats outside for those who would not rather gather inside.
"We don't want anybody to feel unwelcome. We don't want anybody to feel like an outsider because they sit outside or because they decide to wear a mask ... That's all fine. That's all temporary. That's all superficial kinds of things," he said.
Photo courtesy: John MacArthur Facebook
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.